Resources for Presenters, Chairs, and Session Monitors


The information below includes general guidance for presenters, sessions chairs, session monitors, and interest groups. Conference attendees may also be interested in reading this information, as it outlines the format of our various session types.

Paper Presenters, Lightning Talk Presenters, and Respondents
  • During the virtual conference, each regular paper session will include between two and four different presentations.
  • Sessions will be 45 minutes. Paper sessions will take place in Zoom Webinar. The presenters and the chair will appear on the screen, but attendees will remain muted and invisible, unless given access permission by the chair.
  • Each presentation will be allowed time to provide a brief summary of their paper--no more than five minutes each.
  • These brief summaries will be followed by a general Q&A.
  • Alternative sessions may have a slightly different structure. Please contact your session organizer with any questions.

Prior to the conference, attendees will be encouraged to review your materials.

Poster Presenters

  • During the virtual conference there will be multiple poster sessions, each including four or five different poster presentations.
  • Poster sessions will be 45 minutes. They will begin in Zoom Webinar.
  • Each presentation will be allowed time to provide a brief summary of their poster—no more than three minutes each. Think of this as the “elevator pitch” you would have prepared for the face-to-face conference.
  • These brief summaries presentations will be followed by a Q&A where each poster presentation will have its own Zoom Meeting room. This will give conference attendees the opportunity to interact with each poster presentation in small groups and to move freely among the posters sessions.

Prior to the conference, attendees will be encouraged to review your materials.

Paper Session Format

Click here to view an recording of the virtual training webinar.

Before the session

  • Presenters, Chairs, and Monitors should join the webinar 10 minutes before the session begins by following the link on the session page. You may be asked to enter your name and email address. Shortly after joining the webinar, a volunteer will arrive and turn over host duties to the Chair(s) and Monitor.
  • During this 10 minute period, each webinar will have “practice mode” enabled. In "practice mode," only Presenters, Chairs, and Monitors can join. During this time:
    • Monitors: instruct Chairs and Presenters to open the “participants", “chat”, and "Q&A" windows. This will allow them to see who is in the session, what's being posted in the chat, and what questions are being asked.
    • Monitors: make sure that Presenters know how to share their screen, if they’d like to do that. 
    • Chairs: remind Presenters of the progression of the session, including presentation order and the procedure by which each poster will be sent to an individual meeting room. 
    • In the case of a multi-authored poster, the Monitor should confirm which of the Presenters will be giving the summary so they know which person(s) to unmute for that presentation summary.
    • Chairs/Monitors: if one of your Presenters does not arrive, please contact smt@societymusictheory.org
    • Chairs/Monitors: About one minute before the start time, click the "Start Webinar" button. 

Session Intro

  • Chair: Begin the session with a brief intro that includes the session’s title, order of presentations, and an explanation of the function of the Chat and "Q&A" window. 
  • Chair: Read the brief statement (below) about appropriate language and behavior.
    • "SMT wishes to create a meeting in which all participants feel safe, welcomed and included. This should be a space of respectful and constructive discourse. To facilitate such an environment, we ask that all attendees refer to and abide by our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics and harassment."

  • Monitor: as the Chair reads the statement, post a link to our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics, and harassment in the Chat.  

Presentation Summaries

  • Chair: After the session intro, introduce each presentation in turn, giving presentation title and Presenter(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) only. (Presenter biographies will not be read, but can be found on the session page.)
  • Each presentation will have a maximum of 5 minutes for presentation summary. These comments should be prepared ahead of time to ensure appropriate length. The 5-minute limit will be enforced by the Chair.

Q&A

  • Following the summaries of all presentations, the rest of the session will be a Q&A.
  • Chair: You will field questions in the Zoom Q&A window and ask them directly to the Presenters. Attendees will not be recognized to ask their questions using their own audio or video. 
    • Attendees can ask questions throughout the session—even during the paper summaries. 
    • This will create a log of questions in the Q&A window throughout the presentation that chairs should screen for content. Chairs can see new questions in the "Open" tab of the Q&A window. If the chair believes a question is inappropriate, it can be "dismissed." 
    • Chairs will choose the questions and the order of questions and ask them out loud to the Presenters. Chairs may also ask questions directly to the Presenters, or ask the Presenters if they have questions of each other.
    • Chairs: Please make every reasonable effort to balance the time spent on each of the presentations during the Q&A. 

Session Ending

  • Chairs and Monitors have a responsibility to end the webinar on time. Most sessions are expected to last 45 minutes. (Exceptions to this are noted below on the schedule.) If this responsibility is not carried out by the Chair or Monitor, an administrator will end the session so that the next meeting of presentations may begin on time.
  • If there is a session following yours, note that your zoom must be vacant no later than 10 minutes before the beginning time of that next session.
  • If there is not a session after yours, then the conversation could continue until the top of the hour. At that point, it would be appropriate to encourage attendees to continue the discussions through other media. 
  • Chairs: As the session ends, you should point participants to the asynchronous discussion on Slack. At that time, monitors should share a link to the session's Slack so that the discussion can continue.

Other Session Monitor Responsibilities

Notes on Session Length

  • Sessions that include three papers will be 45 minutes long.
  • Sessions that include only two papers will also be 45 minutes long.
  • Sessions that include four speakers, or “short” alternative sessions (proposed originally as 90 minutes) will be 60 minutes long.
  • Standing committee sessions and “long” alternative sessions (proposed originally as 180 minutes) will be 75 minutes long. 

If You Need Help During the Session

Poster Session Format

Click here to view an recording of the virtual training webinar.

Poster sessions begin as Zoom webinars, but after introductory remarks from the Chair and lightning talks from the Presenters, each poster presentation will have their own individual Zoom meeting room where they can interact with attendees.

Before the session

  • Each session will be assigned a Monitor. Both Chairs and Monitors will have “host/co-host” privileges. 
  • Presenters, Chairs, and Monitors should join the webinar 10 minutes before the session begins by following the link on the session page. You may be asked to enter your name and email address. Shortly after joining the webinar, a volunteer will arrive and turn over host duties to the Chair(s) and Monitor.
  • During this 10 minute period, each webinar will have “practice mode” enabled. In "practice mode," only Presenters, Chairs, and Monitors can join. During this time:
    • Monitors: instruct Chairs and Presenters to open the “participants", “chat”, and "Q&A" windows. This will allow them to see who is in the session, what's being posted in the chat, and what questions are being asked.
    • Monitors: make sure that Presenters know how to share their screen, if they’d like to do that. 
    • Chairs: remind Presenters of the progression of the session, including presentation order and the procedure by which each poster will be sent to an individual meeting room. 
    • In the case of a multi-authored poster, the Monitor should confirm which of the Presenters will be giving the summary so they know which person(s) to unmute for that presentation summary.
    • Chairs/Monitors: if one of your Presenters does not arrive, please contact smt@societymusictheory.org
    • Chairs/Monitors: About one minute before the start time, click the "Start Webinar" button. 

Session Intro

  • Chair: Begin the session with a brief intro that includes the session’s title, order of presentations, and an explanation of the function of the Chat. (Note that there will not be time for presenters to answer questions during the webinar portion of the session, so attendees should not use the webinar Chat for questions, but that statements of encouragement or other feedback are welcome, and will be archived for the presenters.) 
  • Chair: Read the brief statement (below) about appropriate language and behavior.
    • "SMT wishes to create a meeting in which all participants feel safe, welcomed and included. This should be a space of respectful and constructive discourse. To facilitate such an environment, we ask that all attendees refer to and abide by our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics and harassment."

  • Monitor: as the Chair reads the statement, post a link to our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics, and harassment in the Chat.  
  • Chair: communicate to attendees the poster session procedure: after short presentations by the Presenters (no more than three-minute summaries), each poster Presenter will have their own individual Zoom meeting room where they will be able to interact with attendees. Those Zoom meeting rooms are found on the session page next to each authors's name and in the Chat.
  • Monitor: Post links to each of the poster session Zoom rooms in the webinar Chat.

Presentation Summaries

  • Chair: After the session intro, introduce each presentation in turn, giving presentation title and Presenter(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) only. (Presenter biographies will not be read, but can be found on the session page.)
  • Each presentation will have a maximum of 3 minutes for presentation summary. These comments should be prepared ahead of time to ensure appropriate length. The 3-minute limit will be enforced by the Chair.
  • Presenters are expected to listen to all of the summaries before heading into their individual Zoom rooms (see Q&A, below).

Q&A

  • Following the summaries of all presentations, each of the Poster Presenters will move to an individual Zoom room where they can interact with attendees. 
  • In each of these Zoom meeting rooms, the Presenter(s) and Attendees will be able to see each other and interact face-to-face. Presenters may also answer questions that are posted in the Chat.
  • The Chair and Monitor are expected to move around from room to room and interact with Presenters.

Session Ending

  • The Q&A session is expected to last until 45 minutes after the hour.
  • Presenter(s) are responsible for ending the session no later than 10 minutes before the top of the hour. 
  • If this responsibility is not carried out by the Presenter(s), an administrator may end the session so that the next meeting may begin on time.

Other Session Monitor Responsibilities

If You Need Help During the Session

Interest Group Meetings

Interest groups will be provided space on the SMT conference platform for meeting materials. For information on how to create and submit your meeting materials, visit the Conference Presenter Guidelines.

Much as at an in-person SMT, the format of Interest Group meetings is left up to the leadership and members of individual IGs. Nonetheless, we do encourage IG leadership to follow these guidelines.  

Before the Meeting 

  • Interest group meetings are run as Zoom meetings. The Chair(s) of each IG will have host privileges and be expected to start the Zoom meeting and designate someone to monitor the meeting’s chat for appropriate behavior.  
  • Interest group chairs and presenters may gather ten minutes before their scheduled time to confer about the meeting. The IG Chair has the responsibility of organizing the meeting and ensuring that Presenters are aware of the IG session’s format.
  • Among the information that Chairs should share with Presenters prior to the meeting:
    1. The IG Meeting will occur in a Zoom meeting room, which allows every attendee to speak or use video. 
    2. The Chair(s) will monitor the Zoom chat for any questions.

Meeting Intro

  • The meetings begins with the Chair giving an intro. During this time, the Chair will communicate the meeting’s organization to Attendees. 
  • The Chair will also read a brief statement (below) about appropriate language. 
    • "SMT wishes to create a meeting in which all participants feel safe, welcomed and included. This should be a space of respectful and constructive discourse. To facilitate such an environment, we ask that all attendees refer to and abide by our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics and harassment."
  • The Monitor should at this point post a link to the SMT guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics, and harassment in the Chat.
  • Other considerations:
    1. Because this is a Zoom meeting, we recommend that Chairs ask Attendees to mute their audio to help avoid feedback and delay problems. Attendees can un-mute while asking questions during any Q&A. Meeting Monitors should monitor the meeting for audio problems. If feedback or delay occurs, the Monitor should write a note in the chat asking Attendees to mute their audio.
    2. We recommend that Chairs encourage Attendees to communicate with one another through the chat. It would be valuable for Chairs to explain to Attendees how to make the chat window visible on their screen.
    3. Each IG will have a dedicated Slack chat to use throughout the conference. Chairs are encouraged to share the link to that Slack chat so that IG members can communicate with one another after the IG meeting.

The Meeting 

  • The meeting format is left up to individual IGs. We recommend that IG leadership familiarize themselves with the possibilities of using a Zoom meeting room prior to the meeting itself.
  • During the meeting, the Chair and Monitor are expected to monitor the chat and discussion to ensure that Attendees respect the SMT guidelines on respectful interactions.

Meeting Ending

  • Chairs and Monitors have a responsibility to end the meeting on time. If this responsibility is not carried out by the Chair or Monitor, an administrator will end the session so that the next meeting may begin on time.
  • At the end of each session, we recommend that Chairs encourage Attendees to continue an asynchronous discussion on Slack.

If You Need Help During the Session